Binding Earth and Heaven: Patriarchal Blessings in the Prophetic Development of Early Mormonism

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9780271056340: Binding Earth and Heaven: Patriarchal Blessings in the Prophetic Development of Early Mormonism

In Binding Earth and Heaven, Gary Shepherd and Gordon Shepherd use early nineteenth-century Mormonism as a case study to examine questions about how new religious movements may, as rare exceptions, survive and even eventually become successful in spite of intense opposition. Initial scorn and contempt for Mormonism—the fledgling creation of the young Joseph Smith—quickly elevated to mob violence as both Smith’s innovative teachings and converted followers proliferated, resulting in the widely held perception that the Mormons constituted a social menace. This book examines how Mormonism attracted and maintained the loyalty of increasing numbers of people despite mounting hostilities and severe hardships.

The book focuses on the unique Mormon ritual (and accompanying doctrinal underpinnings) of “patriarchal blessings.” Patriarchal blessings were an innovative adaptation of the Old Testament practice of fathers making quasi-legal pronouncements over the heads of their sons—a way of verbally conferring rights, promises, admonition, and guidance to heirs. Binding Earth and Heaven shows how the organizational complexities of this practice contributed to strengthening and sustaining member faith and fealty, thereby bolstering the continuity and development of Mormonism.

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About the Author:

Gary Shepherd is Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Anthropology at Oakland University.



Gordon Shepherd is Professor of Sociology at the University of Central Arkansas.

Review:

“This is a truly original work. It draws upon both primary and secondary sources to demonstrate the importance of the Mormon ritual institution of patriarchal blessings, which is widespread among Mormons at the grassroots but little known outside the church.”

—Armand L. Mauss, Washington State University



“From the perspective of historical sociology, Gary Shepherd and Gordon Shepherd have written one of the most important studies of gender in Mormon history. They expected to find ‘extreme male bias’ in the ‘patriarchal blessings’ of pastoral counsel and prediction given to women and to men by Mormon patriarchs from the mid-1830s to mid-1840s. Instead, their content analysis of these carefully recorded documents provides statistical evidence of surprising gender egalitarianism in a patriarchal church’s first decade.”

—D. Michael Quinn



“How did early Mormonism succeed in the face of overwhelming opposition and violence? Gary Shepherd and Gordon Shepherd effectively draw our attention to the centrality of patriarchal blessings as key rituals cementing Mormon identity, doctrine, and commitment among the first generation of Latter-day Saints, both men and women, many of whom were left with little more to hold on to but the promises of heaven. The distinctive Mormon belief in and ritualized practice of personalized revelation takes center stage here in explaining not only why people came to Mormonism but, perhaps more important, why they stayed.”

—Patrick Q. Mason, Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies, Claremont Graduate School



“Gary Shepherd and Gordon Shepherd have provided a welcome and successful case study of early Mormonism. Binding Earth and Heaven is generally focused on the tumultuous decades before the martyrdom of founder Joseph Smith, and specifically focused on the function of patriarchal blessings. . . . This is a strong and valuable work, especially in its core statistical analysis.”

—Christopher W. Chase, Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions

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Book Description Pennsylvania State University Press, United States, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.In Binding Earth and Heaven, Gary Shepherd and Gordon Shepherd use early nineteenth-century Mormonism as a case study to examine questions about how new religious movements may, as rare exceptions, survive and even eventually become successful in spite of intense opposition. Initial scorn and contempt for Mormonism--the fledgling creation of the young Joseph Smith--quickly elevated to mob violence as both Smith s innovative teachings and converted followers proliferated, resulting in the widely held perception that the Mormons constituted a social menace. This book examines how Mormonism attracted and maintained the loyalty of increasing numbers of people despite mounting hostilities and severe hardships. The book focuses on the unique Mormon ritual (and accompanying doctrinal underpinnings) of patriarchal blessings. Patriarchal blessings were an innovative adaptation of the Old Testament practice of fathers making quasi-legal pronouncements over the heads of their sons--a way of verbally conferring rights, promises, admonition, and guidance to heirs. Binding Earth and Heaven shows how the organizational complexities of this practice contributed to strengthening and sustaining member faith and fealty, thereby bolstering the continuity and development of Mormonism. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780271056340

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Book Description Penn State University Press. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 184 pages. Dimensions: 9.0in. x 6.0in. x 0.4in.In Binding Earth and Heaven, Gary Shepherd and Gordon Shepherd use early nineteenth-century Mormonism as a case study to examine questions about how new religious movements may, as rare exceptions, survive and even eventually become successful in spite of intense opposition. Initial scorn and contempt for Mormonismthe fledgling creation of the young Joseph Smithquickly elevated to mob violence as both Smiths innovative teachings and converted followers proliferated, resulting in the widely held perception that the Mormons constituted a social menace. This book examines how Mormonism attracted and maintained the loyalty of increasing numbers of people despite mounting hostilities and severe hardships. The book focuses on the unique Mormon ritual (and accompanying doctrinal underpinnings) of patriarchal blessings. Patriarchal blessings were an innovative adaptation of the Old Testament practice of fathers making quasi-legal pronouncements over the heads of their sonsa way of verbally conferring rights, promises, admonition, and guidance to heirs. Binding Earth and Heaven shows how the organizational complexities of this practice contributed to strengthening and sustaining member faith and fealty, thereby bolstering the continuity and development of Mormonism. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780271056340

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Book Description Pennsylvania State University Press, United States, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. In Binding Earth and Heaven, Gary Shepherd and Gordon Shepherd use early nineteenth-century Mormonism as a case study to examine questions about how new religious movements may, as rare exceptions, survive and even eventually become successful in spite of intense opposition. Initial scorn and contempt for Mormonism--the fledgling creation of the young Joseph Smith--quickly elevated to mob violence as both Smith s innovative teachings and converted followers proliferated, resulting in the widely held perception that the Mormons constituted a social menace. This book examines how Mormonism attracted and maintained the loyalty of increasing numbers of people despite mounting hostilities and severe hardships. The book focuses on the unique Mormon ritual (and accompanying doctrinal underpinnings) of patriarchal blessings. Patriarchal blessings were an innovative adaptation of the Old Testament practice of fathers making quasi-legal pronouncements over the heads of their sons--a way of verbally conferring rights, promises, admonition, and guidance to heirs. Binding Earth and Heaven shows how the organizational complexities of this practice contributed to strengthening and sustaining member faith and fealty, thereby bolstering the continuity and development of Mormonism. Bookseller Inventory # LIE9780271056340

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